11th march 2010
Q. Guruji, in the Gita, Lord Krishna has said that people who remember him and serve him are more close to him. On the other hand, we say that God loves everyone equally. Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, Krishna gives a long list of those who are very close to him. It is a long list. The 12th chapter of the gita is full of it. He says, the one who has no dislike for anybody, one who is compassionate and friendly with everyone, one who does not have extreme attachment, one who does not have ego, those who are equanimous in all situations – are all close to me. Don’t you also express whatever you like? Your liking something does not mean you don’t like anything else.
Sometimes Krishna also says this to create confusion. His work is to create confusion only. So when Arjuna was completely shaken by confusion in his mind, he asked Krishna to tell him one single thing(to follow). Then Krishna says –“All this is one. Even if I say different things, it is all one”.
Q. Guruji, what can tie society in one thread bringing all together for service?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You keep on doing service; others will automatically join. Don’t make an effort to make others join you. You just do it and keep motivating others. Ask them if they want to come along. They will also come. If you are enjoying doing service, others will also get motivated to do it. Leaders should be like this. But usually they want so much perfection that they end up annoying every one. In this kind of service people come once and then they run away. Nobody wants to work with a person who is full of complaints. So serve along with fun. When happiness comes from within with regular Sadhna and Satsang, everything happens naturally.
Q. Guruji what is tapasya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tapasya is that which you may not like to do but doing it is beneficial for you.
Q What is prayer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Prayer means a call from the depth of the heart. When children cry, how do they cry? Kids cry for their mother with their whole body. When every cell of the body and every corner of the heart need something, then only you cry. Calling in an exclusive style – from your heart is prayer. Also when we do something with all our heart, that is called prarthna (prayer).
Q: How do we balance worldly activities and spiritual practices?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you walk? You lift up one leg and keep the second on the ground, and then you alternate this. This is balance. Can you walk without balance? A man walking in his senses knows what balance is. Just like this you balance your life.
If you leave all your work and only meditate, you will not even be able to meditate. And if you only do work and don’t do your practices, you will feel that longing for meditation. So listen to your heart. It gets pulled towards both. Balance both, do this as well as that.
Q. Do we get this human life only once? Have we come to this birth after being born as all other creatures?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is more important to be aware that you are born as a human in this birth. You are also here and I am also here. You do whatever is possible and see that you complete your journey in this birth itself.
Q. In what ways and to what extent should we oppose the few people who violate rules and regulations? If we don’t get the result after opposing then what should be done? Just because of fear we are not doing anything. What should be done?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Sanghe shakti kalyuge means – only unity has power in this era. We need to stand in a group. Stand against whatever you feel is wrong. Write articles, make people aware about the happenings. Even today we have many ethical people. Include them all and take action together.
Q. Guruji what is guru tattva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You asked this question because you want to know something. So this thirst to know is discipleship. The one who answers is the Guru. The source from which you get all the answers in life is the Guru Tattva. We need answers to feel complete. The knowledge makes you complete. The element that brings fullness in you is the Guru Tattva. In whose presence you don’t feel any lack is Guru Tattva.
Q. I heard about the ten avtars(incarnations of God). Please tell us about the kalki avtar? I am little confused.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are just not 10 avatars, there are 24 avtars of Lord Vishnu. Not only 24 but they have infinite forms and names, which means God is present everywhere in so many different forms. Kal means tomorrow. Don’t think that all avtars have already gone, one might be kept for the future also. 24 avtars have happened earlier and there will be more in the future also. So kalki refers to the future avtar. It was said that this avtar will come forth riding a horse. Horse in Sanskrit is called Ashwa. shwa means either in the past or the future. So ashwa means that which is right now. So kalki refers to one who is present in the consciousness this very moment. That divinity which brings together everything at this very moment, which takes away the feeling of separation from you and rekindles belongingness in you, is present here right now.
Q. Which is the energy centre in our body?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is energy centre in every cell of the body. Heart, mind, everything is an energy centre. The whole consciousness is a manifestation of energy.
Q: Can intuition be wrong?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Then that is not intuition.
Q.How do we recognize if a Master is true or not? Whoever gets connected to one’s master puts full faith in him but then there can be a wrong use of this faith. So when someone ask me this question, it becomes difficult for me to answer in a proper way.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are so many people in this world who betray their friends. Seeing this you don’t stop making friends. There are so many people who go to shops, steal things and go away. How would you feel being suspected as a thief when you enter a shop? So don’t be with that fear. Some doctors take out the kidneys of patients, then should people stop trusting all the doctors? Many time accidents happen, say a train gets off the track. Now should people stop traveling in trains because of this fear? This is paranoia. Listen to your heart. If your faith is true even if the master does wrong to you, it will not have any effect on you. Your faith will only raise you higher. If the master is doing wrong he will fall down, face problems, but it will not affect you at all. Your heart guides you to that which is right.
Q. Should one have blind faith in the Master?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Faith is never blind, faith is just faith. When faith breaks then one starts feeling that it was blind faith. Now don’t try to bring faith in you, it just comes by itself. In fact, I would say doubt as much as you can. Even then if it remains, that faith is authentic. That is why I say doubt as much as you can and my work is not to bring faith in you but to put you in more doubt. Your job is to swim through it.
Q. Guruji when I am angry I cannot control myself but later I feel bad that I have said something to someone. Right now when my mother was telling me to ask a question I was angry but as soon as I saw you, it vanished. What should I do to control anger?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You mean to say the switch of your anger changes when you see me!(laughter). Ok then keep on looking at me.
Q. I am crazy about your talks but tell me how to overcome the hurdles that you are creating on the path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t consider them as hurdles.
Q. I don’t like it when my wife stops me from coming here.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: She could be doing it because she might be worried about your dropping your family and becoming an ascetic. So you should give her the assurance that Guruji will not let you become ascetic in the first place.
Q; When will my family come on this path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry. Everyone will come to the path slowly.
Q: How do we ensure that the knowledge that you have transferred is transferred in the same pure form when we transfer it to somebody?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why there is a methodology of teaching. When you undergo teacher’s training, it flows thoroughly in the same way. Teachers are trained very thoroughly.
Q: Where is Bhagwan(God)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It consists of four syllables - bh, ga, wa, na. bh comes from bhoomi(earth). One who has patience like Earth, fluidity like water, sharpness and focus like fire, subtlety like air and is all-pervading like space.
Q: Which is the best way to reach God – path of knowledge or path of devotion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You cannot like something without knowing about it. Suppose you like gulab jamun(Indian sweet). Knowing about its taste is gyan yoga, buying and eating it is karmayoga, and liking it is bhakti yoga. Devotion is liking something. When you like something then their arises a thirst to know about it. All three go together.
Q: Why do we want to be liberated?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wanting freedom is a natural phenomenon. What you feel after your exams are over is a little experience of liberation (moksha). In life also you burn in your own hopes and desires. These desires have only brought you misery. When you relax taking a step outside all this, there is liberation (moksha). When you sit for meditation with the feeling, I am nothing, I want nothing, and I do nothing - this feeling is the feeling of freedom. It is fun, it is freedom.
“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar
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For Global Spirituality